An Apple a Day (or in three courses…) Keeps the Doctor Away

I spent part of last weekend exploring a local apple orchard, Boyd Orchards, for the first time with my husband and a few friends. It was a nice excuse to spend some time outside and we ended up getting quite a few apples.

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I wanted to put these apples to good use in my self-designed culinary training. This challenge focused on using apples in an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert for a complete three course meal. The rules were a little different than past mystery ingredient challenges. First, I could shop for ingredients. Second, the no help rule still stood meaning I couldn’t use recipes or the internet for help. So, the recipes for the three course meal to follow were conjured up in my own head and in my own kitchen.

It all started with a few beautiful apples.

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First Course

I made an grated apple and carrot slaw tossed in balsamic vinagrette. I topped this with hand grated gouda. No special measurements here; just make it to your personal taste. One recommendation though, drain it well. The apples made it a little watery. P.S. apples do not grate well, they just kind of turn to mush.

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Second Course

I finely chopped an apple and yellow squash and sauteed them in butter. 

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I added some of the grated gouda to the mixture until it melted and coated the apples and squash. While the cheese melted I butterflied the pork chops.

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I stuffed each porkchop with the filling and closed them for baking. I coated each with some olive oil, garlic powder, and fresh rosemary. I baked them for about 45minutes at 350 degrees.

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My only recommendation is to add more cheese. There is no such thing as too much cheese!

Third Course

I baked bisquick biscuits (I know that recipe by heart!). While the biscuits baked, I cooked sliced apples in butter and brown sugar.

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Next, I used beaters to combine 1/2 confectioner sugar (that was all I had on hand so I had to make it work!) with cream cheese (4 oz or a 1/2 package). Then, I made fresh whipped cream. To flavor the whipped cream, I used the buttery brown sugar mixture the apples had been cooking in and whipped it a little longer (all by hand…what a work out!). I put the cheesecake like mixture on top of the open faced biscuit, topped it with the carmelized apples, and then added the whipped cream.

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HOLY COW. I wish I could eat this dessert every day. I am adding this to the menu for Thanksgiving (and Christmas and every family gathering ever). However, I would like to make the biscuits from scratch next time.

Joe’s verdict: He was not a fan of the slaw and I agree. The stuffed pork chop and dessert are both keepers. The dessert got the highest compliment; he even said that it could sell in a restaurant. Maybe Stella’s would take us up on that?

We still have more apples than we can reasonably use before they go bad so I am going to freeze some. I will likely use them for a childhood favorite, fried apple pies or a crockpot applesauce recipe that I found.

Off to recover from a very filling meal!

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